In 2020, land-based casinos all around the world were forced to shut down activities, to comply with lockdowns and social distancing measures imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. After a few months, these venues were authorized to resume operations under severe restrictions, including limited capacity and distancing protocols.
But now, as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccinations increase, several Las Vegas casinos are loosening these restrictions; casino floors are set to return to a 50% occupancy limit and many venues on The Strip returned to 24-hour operations.
In Canada, the Ontario provincial government allowed casinos to reopen, and gambling venues in Alberta are expected to do so by the end of March. European casinos and gambling venues also benefited from the rise in vaccinations, as countries such as Poland already restarted operations. In the United Kingdom, the largest gambling market in Europe, sports betting venues and casinos are expected to reopen in April and May, respectively.
Casinos in Las Vegas had been operating at a limited 25% capacity since November, when they were allowed to increase the occupancy to 35% in February. But Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak recently signed an emergency directive loosening the state’s health restrictions, allowing casinos to increase capacity from 35% to 50%. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, this led to big crowds flooding the Las Vegas Strip and casino floors in the first weekend following the announcement.
Continue reading Casinos loosening restrictions in Las Vegas – and abroad
Today, October 1st, your MGM Resorts Mlife Rewards Tier Credits would typically reset to zero and your Tier Status would adjust to whatever tier you earned based from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. That isn’t happening this year due to the COVID closures and precautions. Mlife has also changed this moving forward.
Mlife Rewards is extending your current Tier Status through January 31, 2022 (another full year and then some). It has also extended the current tier earning period through the end of December 2020, so you still have a chance to get to the next tier level if you desire.
Continue reading Mlife Rewards Tier Status COVID changes
Park MGM will reopen on September 30th. When it reopens, it will be the only smoke-free casino and resort on the Strip. Park MGM was already one of my favorite resorts, but this puts it over the top for me.
Many things are changing as casinos reopen during the COVID pandemic. The most important change right now is that you are going to need to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever you are inside a public area of the building. That means you need to be wearing it when in the casino, in the lobby, walking down the hotel hallway, in a public bathroom, at bars and restaurants, etc. That is a statewide mandate from Gov. Sisolak. The mandate also include public spaces outdoors where six feet of social distancing can be observed. That means you should wear it whenever you head out since you can’t guarantee that you’ll have six feet of space when walking down the Strip or on Fremont Street. The mandate goes a step further than what MGM and Caesars had already put into place require mask use, but only in a few areas.
There are limited exceptions for children 9 and under, individuals where wearing a mask would be a health or safety risk, when dining and drinking and when exercising or doing socially distanced recreational activities outside.
The new mask mandate actually simplifies a number of things. As a general rule, if you are staying at a resort you should be wearing a masks unless you are in your room with family.
Continue reading What is Changing As Casinos Reopen?
UPDATED June 30, 2020
Las Vegas casinos and hotels will be able to reopen after the COVID-19 closures starting June 4, 2020. Everything isn’t going to instantly reopen and try to get back to normal, though. I plan to do a series of posts on the topic in the coming days. I am going to start with the most pressing one.
Which hotels are reopening on June 4th?
Continue reading When Are Strip Hotels ReOpening?